By MIKE WILSON
© St. Petersburg Times, published October 23, 2000
A few days ago we created the Withering Palm Tree Pumpkin and placed it on the porch, just for the pleasure of seeing what the merciless Florida elements would do to it.
We plan to continue our science experiment through Halloween, at which point, we hypothesize, the once-proud gourd will be a gruesome, green-orange blob of mold and rancid pumpkin pie.
Here is our field report from Day 4:
FIRMNESS: Seriously compromised. Similar to that of a 38-year-old whose gym membership lapsed in June. Subject pumpkin is listing to one side.
CONDITION OF PALM TREE: Withering. Leaves have curled inward. Trunk has shriveled and now has the texture of elephant skin.
SMELL: Dirty socks.
COLOR: Still orange on exterior. Interior walls have yellowed to the hue of parchment. Green-and-white mold has appeared in patches.